GRR

Video: How paralysed world champion Wayne Rainey rode his bike again

25th June 2023
Simon Ostler

It was a moment we never thought we'd see, as Wayne Rainey, the three-time grand prix motorcycle world champion, got back on his bike for the first time in almost 30 years. Things suddenly got very emotional at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard as the moment came for Rainey to set off up the Hill on his 1992 championship-winning Yamaha YZR500.

This was the culmination of three years of planning to modify the bike to fit the needs of a man who had suffered life-changing injuries in an accident while leading the 1993 Italian Grand Prix. It was once thought that Rainey, a legend of motorcycle racing would never ride again, but he was determined to prove doubters wrong.

We spoke to him in the build-up to that momentous first run at Goodwood to learn more about the work that has gone into making this possible. Not only was it going to be a huge challenge riddled with unknown perils, this was the first time we had seen anything like this at the Festival of Speed.


“The only thing I can really feel on the bike is the handlebars.” This says basically everything you need to know about the bravery of Wayne Rainey. It’s simply impossible to imagine how that must feel, as he prepared to sling a 500cc grand prix bike up a Hillclimb.

If you haven’t seen any of Wayne Rainey’s hugely evocative runs up the Goodwood Hill, accompanied by no other than his fierce rivals Kevin Schwantz and Mick Doohan, you need to rectify that immediately.  This is one of the truly great moments in Goodwood history.

  • Festival of Speed

  • FOS

  • FOS 2022

  • Wayne Rainey

  • Yamaha

  • Motorcycles

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